Thursday, June 2, 2011

Finding Balance Part 1

Since last weekend after the whole "Kung Fu Panda" posting, I have been thinking much about my overall view of adoption.

As someone said so perfectly, I view the aspects of adoption through the filter of my biblical worldview.  While I strongly adhere to the truth that adoption begins with loss, I also believe that God doesn't operate in Plan B.  Those two truths must meet somehow and they do in my theological understanding of who God is.

I think of a few Godly examples of people who have dealt with grief and coming from a hard place.  These are people we will set before all FIVE of our kids as examples of dealing with grief.  People like Nic Vujicic or my pastor, Matt Chandler, or a local friend, Sujo John or my dad, whose mom died when he was nine. or my dearest friend of my life who, as a child went through abandonment, adoption (becoming a multicultural family), eventual removal from her parents, separated from her only sibling, and had to deal with more than I could ever post here.  I hadn't even thought about all she had gone through in her childhood until days after the Panda post when I was thinking of people in my life who were adopted.  She didn't pop into my mind because she doesn't wear her past (nor her "adopted" status) as a badge of anger.

I think of my husband and am so grateful that the kids have him as a life example.  He was born deaf.  He's never heard anything.  People assume he should be angry about that, but he's not.  Being Deaf is a major part who he is.  Being Deaf has made some aspects of life more difficult.  It has made connecting with others more challenging, but it has also enriched his life in ways people just don't "get" unless they are Deaf themselves or unless they are very close to him or someone like him.

Bad things happen.  They just DO.  But God is not bad.  He doesn't cause bad things happen.  He allows bad things to happen and can even cause things to happen that appear "bad" from our shortsighted perspective.  Things like Nic being born without arms and legs.  Like Matt dropping to the floor with a seizure due to brain cancer at age 35.  Like Sujo being in the World Trade Center on 9/11.  Like Dad's mom dying due to complications from a routine surgery.  Like my best friend living through some unimaginable hurt during her childhood.  Like my husband being born deaf.  Some of these things, God directed.   Some of it...namely the evil things, God couldn't have directed, but allowed.  I don't understand it because I'm not God.  But I trust Him because He is God.

Since I can't state my entire theology succinctly here, if you're curious what I believe, you can read this position paper regarding suffering.

The people I listed above show the balance of allowing the emotions of anger, sadness and grief, but not living in that anger.

Paul, a follower of Christ, wrote in one his letters:
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.
Philippians 4:10-14 (emphasis mine)

The Christians in Philipi didn't tell Paul to "buck up" and "get over it".  They shared in his troubles.  He was likely in prison when he wrote the letter.  If not, had been very recently and knew he would suffer more persecution in the future.  He didn't hide that he had troubles, but at the same time, he learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

Jesus himself pleaded with God the Father to stop the impending judgement, torture and crucifixion.  Scripture says he was "grieved" and "distressed" and expressed so out loud...again and again.  He also added "not my will, but Yours".  Jesus didn't skip through the garden tossing rose petals and pixie dust, ignoring the misery surrounding him.   He went to the Father with it, asked..begged..for what he wanted, then trusted God to do what would ultimately be right and glorifying to Him.

What does all this have to do with my view of adoption?  See my next post...

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